Social Media Case Study: Even those with integrity can be banned

I’ve been holding off writing this post for some time partly because I because I didn’t want my emotion coming through in the post.  I was truly hurt when I realized I was banned from a Mom site (which will remain nameless to protect the truly innocent), which, by the way, is an amazing site that caters to moms — working from home, professionals, stay-at-home moms –> a truly engaged community that readily contributes and share experiences with each other. It’s only now that I feel comfortable writing this because I want to portray a very pragmatic view of the incident that happened and provide a viewpoint that we all could learn from. It taught me a valuable lesson about the internet and some of the dangers of the social web.

It’s not worth rehashing the incident in detail. Suffice it to say, I feel I conducted myself with the utmost integrity but the situations were misinterpreted, and misconstrued. And although I rationalized and effectively (or so I thought) defended my position, it was apparent that this site  was unwilling to listen to explanation. I even had a friend and manager –> someone of  authority and status, vouch for me and help clarify the situation. But to no avail.

It’s quite defeating when I make repeated attempts to access the site and the following text is  on my screen: “Hessie Jones, you have been banned from (xxx site)”.  To this day I don’t know what went wrong. Anyone that knows me knows that I am someone of integrity and would never do anything purposely to manipulate a situation. My husband says I suffer from “everyone-needs-to-like-me syndrome” and  I will try incessantly to justify why I should be liked.

But now that I have some clarity, and less bitterness towards the situation I have come to realize that if I were in their shoes, I probably have done the same thing.  I’ve also come to realize that a “keyboard” that unites individuals across the social space cannot and will not ever really be substituted for face-to-face contact. Relationships can begin over the net but ultimately every one is a faceless, nameless entity. Who you are is ultimately determined by what do and and what you type onto your keyboard. We do not have the benefit of looking someone in the eye, or conversing with them face-to-face. We are unwilling to totally submit and trust individuals whom we haven’t formally met. In my case, the site was unwilling to give me the benefit of the doubt.

That’s why what you do and what you say can ultimately be held against you if you’re not careful. I would love to be asked back to the fold and start connecting again. Maybe this time I’ll buy lunch:)

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